Lovely architecture, picturesque downtowns, and interesting histories to match. Escape to these 10 delightful towns (and ghost towns) in Oregon to experience the charms, history, and amenities that will transport you to another era.
Jacksonville is a small city near Medford that became famous in the 1800s when gold deposits were found in Jackson Creek, leading to the city being designated a National Historic District.
Sisters is surrounded by lakes, mountains, forests, and countryside. The town is full of lovely old architecture, mom-and-pop shops, diners, lodges, and is the home of Sisters Rodeo, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, and the Sisters Folk Festival.
This small town located in the Willamette Valley has many historic buildings and houses. The picturesque downtown is full of antique shops, diners, cafes, and more.
Shaniko is an amazing ghost town in Wasco County. Once called the “Wool Capital Of The World”, the town was abandoned in the mid-twentieth century. However the jail, city hall, water tower, hotel, chapel, and multiple other historical buildings are still standing and open to tourists looking for a blast-from-the-past.
Dayville is an adorable little town in the John Day Valley that dates back to the 19th century.
Fossil is a charming town in Wheeler County and is part of the Journey Through Time Oregon heritage tour.
Joseph is a town in Wallowa County named after the Nez Perce Chief Joseph. It’s a beautiful, sunny town with old fashioned store fronts surrounded by incredible scenery.
Golden was once a mining town in Josephine County, settled in the 1840s when gold was discovered in the area. Now it is a ghost town with a few wonderful old buildings to explore.
2) Cottage Grove
Cottage Grove is also known as the “Covered Bridge Capital” and has an interesting history of gold mining, name changes, and festivals. It is a visually pleasing, old-timey town with and seven covered bridges. It was built in the early twentieth century and has appeared in many films including ‘The General’, ‘Animal House’, and ‘Stand By Me’.
Yachats is a beautiful seaside town that has been inhabited for at least 1,500 years. How’s that for historical!
These towns each contain a slice of Oregon’s fascinating history. What are your favorite historical towns in Oregon?